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Press Release

Statement of Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland today made the following statement in honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated injustices faced by far too many of the most vulnerable among us, including older Americans and elderly people around the world. For too long, elderly people have faced abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Even before the beginning of the worst pandemic in more than a century, a study supported by the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice found that at least one in 10 older Americans are victims of some form of elder abuse each year.

“In observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Department of Justice reaffirms its commitment to ending elder abuse in all its forms. Today we also recognize the Justice Department attorneys, investigators, grantmakers, policymakers and professional staff who work tirelessly every day with our partners both outside and inside every level of government across the United States and around the world to advance the cause of elder justice.

“In the days ahead, the Justice Department will continue to use all its available tools to prevent and combat elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation – from enforcement actions to public awareness campaigns, and from training and technical assistance to victims’ services and legal aid. Within the department, the Elder Justice Initiative will step up efforts to seek and deliver justice for older Americans through a coordinated approach. It will continue to lead and work with the Elder Justice Coordinators in all 94 U.S. Attorneys’ office, across our law enforcement and grantmaking components, and alongside the department’s recently-revived Office for Access to Justice. Taken together, the Justice Department’s FY 2022 budget request includes a 44% increase for elder justice efforts above the FY 2021 enacted budget.

“The Justice Department relies on the public’s assistance in remaining vigilant and reporting suspected fraud and abuse. To learn more about our elder justice efforts, find help, or report abuse, please visit the department’s Elder Justice website at, or call the department’s dedicated National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833–372–8311.”

Updated June 15, 2021

Press Release Number: 21-561